One of the positives that Ben takes from The Wave experiment is that students turn up to his class incredibly well-prepared. They seem so much more enthusiastic about the whole learning experience, which means that they can cover material more quickly and efficiently. The students are energetic, purposeful, and share a marked sense of unity. They are no longer just a collection of individuals, but a genuine community.
The results of The Wave experiment are even more encouraging when it comes to homework, with more students now regularly submitting their work than before. Though, as we shall see in a moment, the quality of the work submitted leaves a lot to be desired.
The downside of these positives—and it's a very big downside—is that the students are acting like automata instead of developing the kind of critical thinking skills that Ben thought The Wave experiment would develop. There's no questioning among the students, no analysis; they simply spew out rote responses which indicate they have no real understanding of the subjects they're covering. As for homework answers, they are terse and unimaginative, showing no signs whatsoever of independent thought.
It's right about this time that Ben starts to realize that whatever positives may have arisen from The Wave experiment are more than outweighed by the negatives.